Welcome to the EdTechTeam blog, where we share updates about the Team, our clients, and the field of educational technology.
We've moved our team blog to Blogger and integrated it with the edtechteam.com domain. Look for more new content from the team there soon.
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This is a busy time of year for many educators, but it is also an exciting time, with many summer professional development opportunities on the horizon. One of the most exciting is the Google Teacher Academy, an exclusive event produced by CUE for Google, in partnership with WestEd. There are still two more weeks to apply to the GTA. Naturally, we hope that the EdTechTeam community will be well represented at the event and encourage you all to apply.
The EdTechTeam is proud to announce the next Google Teacher Academy. As part of our work with our largest client, Computer Using Educators, our team is responsible for producing the GTA for Google.
Applications now open for the Google Teacher Academy
The Google Teacher Academy is a FREE professional development experience designed to help primary and secondary educators from around the globe get the most from innovative technologies. Each Academy is an intensive, one-day event where participants get hands-on experience with Google’s free products and other technologies, learn about innovative instructional strategies, receive resources to share with colleagues, and immerse themselves in an innovative corporate environment. Upon completion, Academy participants become Google Certified Teachers who share what they learn with other primary and secondary educators in their local region. More…
Recently I've seen a few people twittering about their aha teaching moment and it got me to thinking what is my AHA! educational technology moment. I'm not sure I can pinpoint one in particular, but rather a few key moments that turned ed tech into an all consuming passion for me.
I began teaching at an enormous middle school in Los Angles Unified School District in the mid 1990s. As a new teacher back then there were many opportunities to visit other classrooms and see different teaching methods, lessons and ideas. Some were great others were a great experience in how not to run a classroom (I still think these hold immense benifit to see things done poorly and reflect on how you would change them). About two months into my teaching experience I walked into one classroom where utter chaos was alive and well; but in a positive way.
The classroom was loud, much louder than any other classroom I'd been in to that point. Students were moving around the rooms in many different size groups. Computers were going, keyboards clacking away, HyperStudio filling the screens. Desks were pushed out of the way. Did I mention it was loud?
What impressed me most was that students were all engaged, all were working on some part of the project and could talk about what they were doing. That's when I knew there was substance to this technology thing combined with group projects ( it wasn't quite Challenge Based Learning yet), and student choice.
To be sure there was plenty of chaos in the room as class managent wasn't too high on the teacher’s list. That said there was a lot to work with. That’s when I began lobbying to get into that room rotation, the only rotation on campus with computers. After about a year I was able to work my way into that rotation beginning my own strange science of teaching. Those poor Apple All-in-One G3’s were worked well beyond the 233 MHz processor they had. Jumping into that room I quickly found out just what a transformation technology could make in teaching. There were some amazing projects, conversations and ideas those students came up with and it was a sheer pleasure to teach there. That when I knew this is what I wanted to do.
Another major turning point was the 3rd generation iPod. Not only did it get rid of those funky orange buttons, but it brought about voice recording. Send that home with some students and watch out. To see the projects students created, the pride they exhibited, self discovery, and amazement at easily being able to work in the field and once more I knew there was something going on here. I'd sent laptops home beofore that, cameras and video as well, but this was something entirely different. It was easy to use, powerful and fit in a pocket. I still to this day get chills watching one of the projects in particular. That project, about a student discovering her Cuban roots was an amazing story about her father and aunt coming to the states that left every child with a gapping mouth.
There've been many more moments and I hope many more to come, but these two were influnential in getting me into educational technology and then allowing me to discover the power of mobile learning. I really can’t wait to see what's next!